Thursday 16 September 2010

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

"For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures." (v.3-4)

1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Thursday 16 September 2010


Paul, the writer of this letter to the people of Corinth,commends his faith in the risen Christ on two grounds. Today'sreading draws on the stories Paul has heard (as he was notpersonally a witness) of the occasions when the risen Jesusappeared to the disciples. He talks of 'infallible proofs'. Wouldthose witness statements stand up in court? We might regard themrather as testimony; the disciples who recorded those incidentswere doing so as observers of something entirely outside theirprevious experience, hardly the basis on which a court wouldhappily rely on that testimony.

So Paul is not here pointing to facts, but to testimony. What isthe link between the testimony of a generation now growing old (andentirely unknown to the Corinthian Christians except by repute) andthe possible life experience of a younger generation, most of whomcome from an entirely different background?

Older folk, with memories rich and deep, and wisdom carvedpainfully from experience, acknowledge gratefully their debt totheir own past decades. The perspective of young people isdominated by a fast approaching future the old do not expect toshare. Paul's genius lies in the way he draws together a cherishedtradition, an urgently lived present, and a challenging but hopefulfuture. He lays great stress on the essential unity of the widerChurch that reflects these contrasting dimensions.

Part of the challenge facing today's Church lies in rediscoveringPaul's genius for the present age.

To Ponder

Our society is geared to an assumption thatlearning is instruction - what the old do (or offer) to the young.But behind that assumption lies another: that what the old have isvaluable, and what the young bring is a sponge-like ability toabsorb that value. Is that right? What would the Church feel likeif the old were to learn from the young?

Regardless of your age, what one thing would youwant to pass on to the next generation?

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